Asset management is supposed to be different. While investment banks focus on a core of universities and degree subjects - and the elite groups within that – fund managers should be opening their doors to liberal arts graduates with intellectual curiosity.
Is this the reality? Well, no, not really. From information ‘voluntarily provided’ by 35,000 people working at 4,500 U.S. asset management firms to research company eVestment, it’s clear that if you want to become a portfolio manager, there are really only five clear choices of university.
The University of Pennsylvania is the clear winner, followed by Columbia University, Harvard, the University of Chicago and New York University. What’s sadly predictable is the representation of Ivy League universities. However, the dominance of these five universities is notable.
581 portfolio managers within eVestment’s research were from New York University at fifth in the rankings. Just 337 people came from Stanford in sixth place – less than half of the figure that went to the University of Pennsylvania.
The top five business schools for asset management are the same culprits, but the order is mixed up a little. However, again, the fifth placed school has more than twice the number of the school in sixth. Clearly, there are only a handful of real choices for working in fund management.